Section of Roman Road 560m north east of Beckhampton Buildings


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014556

Date first listed: 26-Jun-1924

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Mar-1996


Ordnance survey map of Section of Roman Road 560m north east of Beckhampton Buildings
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Avebury

National Grid Reference: SU 07765 68366


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Roman roads were artificially made-up routes introduced to Britain by the Roman army from c.AD 43. They facilitated both the conquest of the province and its subsequent administration. Their main purpose was to serve the Cursus Publicus, or Imperial mail service. Express messengers could travel up to 150 miles per day on the network of Roman roads throughout Britain and Europe, changing horses at wayside 'mutationes' (posting stations set every 8 miles on major roads) and stopping overnight at 'mansiones' (rest houses located every 20-25 miles). In addition, throughout the Roman period and later, Roman roads acted as commercial routes and became foci for settlement and industry. Mausolea were sometimes built flanking roads during the Roman period while, in the Anglian and medieval periods, Roman roads often served as property boundaries. Although a number of roads fell out of use soon after the withdrawal of Rome from the province in the fifth century AD, many have continued in use down to the present day and are consequently sealed beneath modern roads. On the basis of construction technique, two main types of Roman road are distinguishable. The first has widely spaced boundary ditches and a broad elaborate agger comprising several layers of graded materials. The second usually has drainage ditches and a narrow simple agger of two or three successive layers. In addition to ditches and construction pits flanking the sides of the road, features of Roman roads can include central stone ribs, kerbs and culverts, not all of which will necessarily be contemporary with the original construction of the road. With the exception of the extreme south- west of the country, Roman roads are widely distributed throughout England and extend into Wales and lowland Scotland. They are highly representative of the period of Roman administration and provide important evidence of Roman civil engineering skills as well as the pattern of Roman conquest and settlement. A high proportion of examples exhibiting good survival are considered to be worthy of protection.

The section of Roman road 560m north east of Beckhampton Buildings survives well. Only a few other sections of the road are still visible above ground.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a 317m long section of the Roman road from Spleen to Bath, situated 560m north east of Beckhampton Buildings on West Down. It is aligned roughly east-west. The road has a cambered carriageway, known as an agger, which survives as a visible linear earthwork 9.3m wide and up to 1m high along its centre. Either side of the agger are flanking ditches which provided material for the road's construction, allowed for drainage of surface water away from the road, and added a degree of defensive protection to those using the road. These ditches have become infilled due to cultivation and are no longer visible at ground level although they survive as buried features c.3.5m wide.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 28108

Legacy System: RSM


SU06NE 312, C.A.O., Roman Road from Spleen to Bath, (1989)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series Source Date: 1982 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SU 06 NE

End of official listing